Staying Productive After a Long Day

You go to work after a good night’s sleep, ready to take on the day. When you get there you find yourself with task after task to complete. Before you know it, you’re getting exhausted.

We’ve all been there. We all have those days where we just want to get through the day and do nothing else after a hard day at work.

Unfortunately, as adults we don’t often have the luxury to do that every night. The work day never ends at work because we have dinner to make, laundry to do, bills to pay and dirty dishes calling our names.

The problem is finding the motivation to complete those tasks once you’re home, especially after a long day on the job. So how do we get around this problem? Here are a few suggestions that can help.

Never Miss a Beat

You’ve just spent the whole day working and you’re getting tired, but your brain is still in work mode. Instead of taking a few quick minutes to relax before dinner, get in the zone immediately.

Dedicate a certain amount of time to a task that needs to be completed or a personal project you love. Whether it’s only 15 minutes or an hour, focus on that particular item on your to-do list while your brain is still in the mood to do it.

It doesn’t have to be a chore you’re dreading. It can be something fun, too. Maybe you’re in the middle of working on a novel and you want to complete another chapter. Maybe you have a piece of art you’re trying to complete.

Whatever the task, find some time to focus solely on it.

Save the Best for Last

Remember when you were a kid and you hated when your parents told you to clean your room or put your clothes away? The thought of chores always drove us crazy.

As adults that mindset doesn’t change. We all have those tasks we hate doing, but we know they must be completed.

Start by completing the least-appealing tasks first. At first it seems counterintuitive because it’s something you don’t necessarily want to do, but the idea is to leave more time for enjoyable tasks.

When you start your to-do list with the boring tasks, you’re not only getting them done and out of the way, but you’re also opening yourself up to getting excited for other tasks.

Various studies have also shown boredom can boost creativity and be a motivational tool. You’ll want to complete the task as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can move onto something else like finishing a good book or checking out that new show on TV.

Maintain a Routine

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of starting tasks and never finishing them because of a distraction such as going online.

If you can get into a routine of completing important tasks before taking some time to relax, you’ll already have an idea of what you have to do when you get home from work. Start by making a list of things you know have to be completed and prioritize them accordingly.

Having a plan in mind will help you stay on task. You may also find the list gets done quicker as you continue to follow that routine. Before long, that routine becomes a way of life.

Another benefit to having a routine is there is no thinking, just doing. You won’t have thoughts dreading those daunting tasks you have ahead of you. You’ll find yourself so used to the routine that it’ll be as simple as getting up and going to work every day.

There are going to be times where something comes up and you have to change your routine a little, but overall you’ll find it keeps you productive. Once you get through the “have to” items on your list, you can focus on the “want to” items.

Make Productivity Part of Your Life

We all know the work day never stops just because we finished an eight-hour shift. We have tasks to complete that are part of our everyday lives. Finding the proper motivation to stay productive after coming home can be difficult, but following tips like those above can make it easier.


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Images by wilofcom and Tatiana Niño

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a writer with a passion for productivity and goal hacking. You can find her on your social sites and at Productivity Theory, her personal productivity blog. For more productivity-related posts, subscribe to her newsletter here.